Wednesday, February 18, 2009


For our 2nd day we opted for a half-day city tour in which we would visit: the Merlion Park, Jade factory, Chinese Temple, Singapore Botanical Garden and Little India. 

We departed from the Hotel around 8:30 am. The tour started with a drive around the Civic district and significant buildings: the Cricket club, The Parliament, The City Hall, Padang, and the Supreme Court. The first stop was Merlion Park with magnificent views and fantastic photo opportunities of the Merlion, Marina Bay, F1 floating grandstands, and the Singapore flyer. 

TRAVEL TIP: Of all the tour destinations the Merlion park was the quickest stop we had  so better take those photos as soon as you get to the park!

The Jade factory was the next stop, for some this may seem to boring but we found it to be very interesting as all kinds of ornaments embedded with minerals of all sizes were on display. Ella even had a few good buys. The oldest Chinese Temple in Singapore was our next stop but it was a very quick stop just enough to take photos and offer incense.

The Singapore National Orchid Garden was the penultimate stop of the tour. We were a little hungry and thirsty at this time and with the blistering heat we just walked past the main entrance then head over to get some refreshments.

Our last stop would be Little India, but Ella had an upset stomach( probably too much food last night!) So we decided to wait at the bus as she was rushing to get back to the hotel.

The half day city tour was great being able to cover almost the whole city in one short tour. Specially for those who have very limited time in their itinerary. Some tours may have a Singapore Flyer experience as an option, I suggest you take the flyer during  sunset for both day and night views of Singapore. 

TRAVEL TIP: Bring water and light snacks as you have very limited time to have refreshments from one destination to the other.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Park Hotel Orchard is situated right at the heart of Singapores most fashionable shopping district Orchard Road.  Its location is perfect for both the business traveler and the shopaholic as its located right at the corner of Orchard Road. 

                                                         Paragon Shopping Center

Right across the street is an upscale mall The Paragon. Its a haven for fashionistas with its diverse mix of international brand names Gucci, Valentino, Versace, A/X, Coach, and department stores such as Metro and Marks and Spencer.

                                                            Ngee Ann City

On the opposite side of Orchard Road is Ngee Ann City a massive complex of office towers and a shopping mall. Takashimaya a giant Japanese department store chain is housed here together with name brands Mango, Zara, Guess, Christian Dior, Hugo Boss and an assortment of sporting goods, clothing, and electronic retailers . 

For book lovers head to Asias largest bookstore Kinokuniya which has over 500,000 titles over a 41,000 square feet area.

For more shopping a few hundred meters walk in both directions from the Park Hotel would lead you to a myriad of shopping centers to cater to your different needs. Aside from Paragon and Ngee Ann city, you could come across The Hereen, Lucky Plaza, Tangs, Wisma Atria, Wheelock Place, DFS ( Duty Free), and Far East Plaza. 

TRAVEL TIP: No matter what other reviews say please try to stay away from Lucky Plaza's I.T/Electronics/Camera shops these are often seen as "tourist traps". Better try Sim Lim Square and Funan Digital mall for better deals and prices. 

Swensens restaurant chain is very popular in Singapore and has over 20 branches. Ambiance maybe comparable to TGI Fridays-casual dining and great food. We never had the chance to try it as there were always a long waiting queue whenever we felt checking it out. If your staying at the Park Hotel Orchard theres an access to the restaurant at the hotels lobby. Swensens is definitely a MUST on our return trip to Singapore! do check out their extensive menu

                      Park Hotel Elevator( Red bldg in background is Ngee Ann City)

Park Hotel is a 4 star hotel and we had a good experience with the front desk,concierge, and the business center. The rooms were good and equipped with CATV, mini bar, and coffee maker. The buffet breakfast was mostly continental with a few Chinese dishes. 

The hotel needs refurbishment as of the time of our visit last 2008. Good news I just checked Asiatravel and they have an advisory that the Hotel will be undergoing renovation coming March 2009. 

I would definitely recommend this hotel to shoppers because of its location right at the Center of Orchard Road. With newer commercial developments and hotels near the Marina/Singapore Flyer which extremely gained popularity during the Singapore F1 night race. Its a toss-up between location( Park Hotel Orchard)  and versatility( hotels near Marina/Raffles) .

Thursday, February 5, 2009

16th Philippine Travel Tour Expo 2009:Travel in Style!

The Philippine Travel Agencies Association in cooperation with the Department of Tourism presents the 16th Travel Tour Expo 2009 with the theme travel in style. This event will take place at SMX Convention Center SM Mall of Asia Pasay City on Feb 6-8 2009.

The event features two new segments – lifestyle (which will cover travel accessories, health and wellness products and services, culinary schools, car rentals and the like) and food sellers with lounge areas.

Better check your budget and holiday schedules and head to the biggest travel and tourism event of the year. Its our first time to visit this event and were so excited!!! From what i have read about last years event, there were deals on airfare, hotel, and tour packages as much as 50% off! South East Asian Airlines( SEAIR) has an exclusive valentines promo for this event only dubbed 14344( I love you very much ). For only P14,344.00 you could avail of a BUY 1 TAKE 2 promo on Manila-Boracay/Busuanga- Manila or a BUY 1 TAKE 1 promo on Manila-Batanes-Manila.

With the current global financial crisis expect the exhibitors to go full throttle to attract would be travelers. And with SEAIR's 14344 valentine promo definitely this event is not to miss!

Check out their website:

Roxas City:Baybay beach

The final stop for the Roxas City splash and dash trip was baybay beach which was roughly 2kms from the city center. Too bad i didnt have my tripod for longer exposure shots. Arrived right before sunset and went straight to our meeting although I managed to walk around for a while. The sounds of the crashing waves was definitely a nice and soothing experience.

Too bad i was on a business trip! But definitely I would be back before March and i would add an extra day just for exploring the beauty of Roxas City!

More info on Baybay beach

Friday, January 30, 2009

Roxas City 2009

I was off to the seafood capital of the Philippines too bad it was work related as i had very limited time(roughly 2 hours) to explore...It was more of a splash and dash trip!

Took a 5:30am flight and headed straight to the Roxas Presidents Inn. Its location is right at the heart of Roxas City. Its situated along Rizal Street corner Lopez Jaena St. The Main Plaza,  Roxas Avenue Bridge, Panay River, City Hall, Museum, Cathedral, and provincial Capitol is just a few meters away perfect for walking around!

TRAVEL TIP: The main mode of public transport would be the tricycle. Fare from airport to the city center is P100.00 est. 1 km distance (definitely a tourist trap) as we travelled from the city center to Baybay beach which was farther down the road maybe 1.5-2 km cost around P35.00.  City Center to market .5 km is P8.00. If your on a business trip and your traveling out of Roxas City better plan ahead as there only 5 taxicabs in the whole of Roxas City.

The hotel had a nice Antique and rustic feel to it...the rooms were newly renovated and were named after Philippine presidents. P1,300.00 for a 2 bed mini suite with breakfast and wifi access.

Had lunch at RML manokan Haus right in front of the Roxas Presidents inn. They seemed popular in Roxas City as they a couple of branches. Main menu would be similar to chicken Inasal. Very tasty flavor but i was disappointed with the size of the serving. I was expecting cheap and huge pieces of chicken but to my dismay the size also came down with the cheap price. I wasnt able to try the local eateries or ihaw-ihaw so i had no comparison .

Had a few minutes to take snapshots of the Panay River, Roxas Avenue bridge, and Park.

Philippine Holidays 2009

List of 2009 Philippine Holidays, as declared by Proclamation 1699:

A. Regular Holidays

Maundy Thursday- April 9
Good Friday- April 10
Araw ng Kagitingan- April 6( monday nearest to April 9)
Labor Day- May 1 (Friday)
Independence Day- June 12( Friday)
National heroes Day - August 31( last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day- November 30 (Monday)
Christmas Day- December 25 ( Friday)
Rizal Day- December 30 ( Wednesday)

B. Special (Non-Working) Holidays

Ninoy Aquino Day- August 21( Friday)
All Saints Day- November 1( Sunday)
Additional Holiday- November 2( Monday)
Christmas Eve- December 24 ( Thursday)
New Years Eve- December 31 (Thursday)

Taken with permission from please do check out her site.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ralos Cassava Cake

Stumbled upon a food find accidentally. One of our contractors brought a bright red box of kakanin at the office and i was so eager to check it out! Im not a big fan of cassava cakes but this one was different the flavor just exploded in your mouth. I asked where they bought it they said it came from Batangas. It was a Ralos Cassava Cake.

I told Ella about this wonderful delight and she was so eager to taste it. where do i find it? Surfed the net and i got lucky as had it covered. It was not in Batangas but at Sta. Rosa Laguna very easy access! It was time to head down south as Ella was craving for it. 

Ralos Cassava cake was around 5 mins away from Sta Rosa exit. It was along the national highway to Tagytay on the left side in front of Coca Cola/ BDO bank. It was a classic kakainin store with stacks of bright red boxes and they had no other item except for cassava cakes... I realized that they must have really good sales as all they had was CASSAVA!

A small box would cost around P85 and a big box P160... We got the big box and it was fresh off oven the guy even grated cheese right before he packed it. They said its baked fresh daily.

The taste was heavenly it was really difficult to explain as it was very tasteful. The top layer was creamy and bursting with flavor, sweet cassava taste with just the right amount of cheese. While the sticky bottom is layered with buko bits. 

Definitely one for the books as we would not hesitate to drive down south on a Sunday morning to grab a box of Ralos.